The best minivan for 2017 is the Chrysler Pacifica for its sleek looks, smooth ride, hushed cabin, and flexible passenger and cargo configurations. A wealth of available convenience features is another highlight of this fully redesigned minivan, helping put it ahead of such top rivals as the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Toyota Sienna.
Base-price range for the 2017 Pacifica is $29,590-$43,490, including the $995 destination fee. Trim levels ascend from the LX base model through Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited grades. All have front-wheel drive, a 287-horsepower V-6 engine, and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is smooth and strong. Fuel-economy ratings are among best in class, at 22 mpg city-highway combined. Due later in the model year is the Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid. It pairs the V-6 with a battery-powered electric motor. Chrysler projects up to 30 miles of gas-free driving and a full recharge in two hours from the industry-standard 240-volt supply.
Like all minivans, Pacifica is more passenger-friendly than any SUV, with spacious seating in all three rows and, with dual sliding side doors, hassle-free ingress and egress. It seats 7 or 8 and retains many of the convenience and safety features that distinguished the previous Town & Country and Grand Caravan. Foremost is Chrysler’s clever Stow ‘n Go seating. The industry-exclusive allows all rear seats to fold into floor wells, negating the need to remove the second-row to achieve maximum cargo volume. The available rear-entertainment system is more than a DVD player: it boasts a variety of built-in activities and games, even an “are-we-there-yet” map app that should keep the little ones occupied on long trips.
It’s also the second minivan – after the Odyssey – to offer a built-in vacuum cleaner. We think Pacifica’s is more convenient to use, though it’s available only on the Limited model, whereas Honda doesn’t limit it to the most expensive Odyssey. A hands-free power liftgate, 360-degree surround-view camera, and hands-free parallel parking are among the newly available convenience features.
While Pacifica is 2017’s best minivan, don’t overlook our runners-up.
With it slick drivetrain, excellent steering feel, and well-balanced handling, Odyssey is the most fun to drive of the lot. You benefit from Honda’s well-earned reputation for reliability and strong resale value, though Odyssey isn’t a quiet as the Pacifica.
The Toyota Sienna also boasts great reliability and is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive (AWD), which delivers an added measure of slippery-surface grip. The affordable SE model adds some attitude with an aggressively styled lower body kit, large alloy wheels, and a sport suspension. And it handles surprisingly well — at a cost of some ride comfort.
Kia’s Sedona is a well-balanced entry that delivers on the brand’s promise of plentiful features at competitive prices. The top-line SXL model can be equipped with Nappa leather upholstery, radar-based adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera for a sticker price under $44,000. Kia’s warranty is a selling point: 5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 10 /100,000 powertrain.